2.30 Southwell – Street Force
Michael Appleby’s 4 year old colt Street Force has improved rapidly in his last few starts, and he looks to have an outstanding chance in the 7 furlong handicap at Southwell. A previous course and distance winner, the horse has a solid draw and potential to progress further.
Street Force goes very well on the all-weather. He is 3/8 with a further 2 places on the surface and gagged up back over 7 furlongs back in February, winning by 12 lengths. Got slammed with a 10lb hike in the ratings for that success and didn’t cut much ice over the summer. Mark made its way back down to 73 and after a 4 month break, he returned to winning ways at Wolverhampton. Followed that victory up last time out at the same course, winning by a comfortable 3 lengths. Was only put up 6lbs for that facile success and is racing off a mark of 81.
Michael Appleby does very well at Southwell and his horse has a solid draw in stall 3. The 4 year old is likely to sit close to the pace (usually beneficial at Southwell) and odds of +350 really seem a little too generous.
3.30 Southwell – Countermand
Countermand was beginning to look at little frustrating, but the Andrew Balding 3 year old gelding hosed up by 11 lengths over course and distance last time out and that form has been well advertised. Off a lenient looking mark of 82, he really should be able to justify favouritism in what is, an interesting race.
Countermand was a strong favourite last time out and duly justified that market support in a fairly weak looking maiden, winning by a wide margin. The second that day has since gone on to win by 4 lengths in his next outing, suggesting that run by the Balding horse was a smart one. A reproduction of that effort will make him very difficult to beat.
Serenity Now is the second favourite and is a solid challenger. A dual purpose performer, the son of Key Of Luck has shown an aptitude for artificial surfaces, and has shown a very consistent level of form. Is a course and distance winner at Southwell, but he has beat a lower level of competition than he faces today. Is a decent yardstick, but is vulnerable to an unexposed improver like the selection.
Tips Summary (17th December)
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